Inspiring Generosity


Your Leadership is Important

      You make the difference.    Magic Creative @ Pixabay

I’m back from the big city of Nashville (ECRF…a fabulous training – more to come) and now I’m heading off to Starkey, OR (about 36 people – no lie) to see my cousins. Here’s a re-post and it’s about leadership. Perhaps it’s just in time as you get geared up for September. BTW, if you missed last week’s UMC Discipleship Ministries grant writing webinar, you can catch a rebroadcast of it right here. I was trying to channel my inner Terry Gross. I have a lot more channeling to do. Without further ado, here’s the post…

Recently, I was part of a training session where I witnessed a leader missing a great opportunity. The entire staff of “Awesome Non-Profit” was told it must attend an all-day webinar to explain a new computer system (no disrespect to you, computer gurus, but right off the bat I was ready to catch some ZZZZZs). Everyone arrived, not really sure why we all needed to be there, nor why this was so important that it required an entire day of our time. 

And...we kept wondering.

The Executive Director didn’t start with a pep talk or an explanation of what we were doing or why we were doing it. In fact, she didn’t say anything. Likewise, the webinar leader (undoubtedly in a small dark room somewhere in New Jersey), launched into the training without any context. So, for 6½ very looooong hours we sat and “learned.” I can guarantee you that three-quarters of us promptly forgot everything after we were released to see the sun once again.
Don’t get me wrong, this particular ED is very effective in many ways – she runs a good ship and speaks eloquently about the organization to the public. But she missed an opportunity to energize and to inspire us, to pull us all together, and to be a cheerleader.

I see this happening with stewardship in churches too. Leaders, including clergy, feel ambivalent about stewardship or even saying the word “money” in church. 
Your congregation picks up on your reluctance.
The stewardship campaign starts with little or no context. It feels downright weird that nearly a whole year goes by without any talking, let alone a mention from the pulpit, about what Jesus said about generosity, stewardship, riches, or possessions.  
It’s no wonder that some congregations dread it when suddenly that’s all anyone hears about for a three-week period during the stewardship “campaign.”
Here’s the take away:

  • You are a leader and influencer
  • You are a challenger and cheerleader
  • You have the ability and opportunity to impact your congregation
  • You can talk about stewardship year-round
  • You can and are changing the world.

Accept your role with pride. God knows we need more of you. 
Originally published July 3, 2013.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She’s happy to report that she hasn’t been to a boring training in a long time and, her pastor is not afraid to talk about generosity. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.


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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.